NPR logo Can Obama Get His Mojo Back?

Can Obama Get His Mojo Back?

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama has lost momentum. Polls show the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. As we go to press, Obama has not announced his vice presidential pick. Still, the rumored contenders are one-day wonders who will not change the game. New York Times chief political correspondent Adam Nagourney told the NewsHour's Jim Lehrer:

"But what strikes me about this is the fact that he's going to announce it tomorrow at the earliest or Saturday. It's actually, in many ways, evidence that they don't look at the vice presidential choice as that significant to his campaign...And it has more of a feeling of checking the box.

And my guess is, when we look back at this, this will be something they were trying most of all to do no harm. But this is going to be, in the end, a race between John McCain and Barack Obama. And the vice presidential thing is part of it, and I know we're spending tons of time talking about it, but I don't think they look at it as that big a deal for them."

But it would be a very big deal if Hillary Clinton is his running mate. Clinton's name on the ticket would be a game-changer. Sure, she would bring excess baggage but she would also bring excitement - and 18 million votes.

With Election Day a little over 70 days away, the Democratic Party remains divided. NBC News reports:

"Yet perhaps the biggest factor keeping the presidential race close has been Obama's inability to close the deal with some of Hillary Clinton's supporters. According to the poll , 52 percent of them say they will vote for Obama, but 21 percent are backing McCain, with an additional 27 percent who are undecided or want to vote for someone else."

Clinton's name will be placed in nomination on Wednesday. The state-by-state roll call vote is fraught with risk. With nearly 1,900 pledged delegates , the roll call could be cathartic. But it could also be chaotic . Clinton's supporters believe her historic race was given short shrift by the mainstream media. So, they may seize the roll call vote as an opportunity to show that "well-behaved women rarely make history."

Putting Clinton on the ticket would help Obama work his mojo on her backers and unite the Democratic Party.